"Closer Readings" Blog Posts

Teaching Classic Novels through Popular Adaptations: An Interview

Lissette Lopez Szwydky-Davis and Sean Connors
Lissette Lopez Szwydky-Davis* and Sean Connors** received an NEH grant for their Summer Institute for K-12 educators, “Remaking Monsters and Heroines: Adapting Classic Literature for Contemporary Audiences.” What follows is a conversation between EDSITEment and Dr. Szwydyky-Davis and Dr. Connors about adapting literature for the classroom.Teachers are using popular adaptations to teach novels. Are there some really good ways of doing this?  And are there some approaches to avoid?Read More »

Study of African American History This Summer

Portrait of Frederick Douglass
We celebrate Black History Month in February, but learning can continue all year long. Check out these NEH Summer Seminars and Institutes for School Teachers dealing with African American history and culture. All programs are free and include stipends to help cover travel and living expenses.Read More »

Teaching the Vietnam Era

Two students displaying Vietnam artifacts
By Callie Wright, Education Programs Manager for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial FoundationThere are always consequences to actions that you take. There are consequences to inaction. And thinking through, asking the questions, "Well, then what happens? What comes next?" is critically important.Chuck Hagel 24th Secretary of Defense and Vietnam veteranRead More »

Lessons from Dr. Martin Luther King

The Martin Luther King, Jr. memorial, Washington, DC
On the third Monday of January, Americans celebrate the life and achievement of one of our most respected citizens—Martin Luther King, Jr.  Read More »

Washington Irving: author of America’s Christmas

Currier & Ives, “Winter in the Country: A Cold Morning”, ca. 1863
There is something in the very season of the year that gives a charm to the festivity of Christmas…In the depth of winter, when nature lies despoiled of every charm, and wrapped in her shroud of sheeted snow, we turn for our gratifications to moral sources. The dreariness and desolation of the landscape, the short gloomy days and darksome nights, while they circumscribe our wanderings, shut in our feelings also from rambling abroad, and make us more keenly disposed for the pleasures of the social circle.—Washington Irving, Old ChristmasRead More »